Friday, December 30, 2011

Handmaiden of Creativity

Found a nice, topical quote. From T.S. Eliot: 'Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.'

I would venture to add: 'Illness is the destroyer of creativity.'

You'd think the two would go hand in hand. When I'm ill or hurt, I cannot, for love nor money, consider writing. Well, that's not quite true, I rue the fact that I can't write. I sit and stew about not writing. I wither in disgust at the idea that I'm not writing. Yet, illness sucks me dry.

When I'm ill, I guess I'm too tired to be anxious and therein lies the problem. I'm very good at anxiety. If I could publish anxiety, I would have at least ten thousand books on libraries across the land.

Somehow I must figure out how to be anxious and ill at the same time. No. The best would be -- stop being ill. Oh. a Christmas wish. A New Year's wish.

One for you too. A new year filled with joy and peace, but with touch of anxiety sans illness.

Life is hope-filled.

PS - The Droid will NOT allow me to post here. Believe me, I've tried.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still Battling

Droid! Honestly, you'd think it was the enemy. Sometimes I get a keyboard on the thing and sometimes I don't. I'm all ready tonight to post and there's no keyboard. I'm sitting here on my trusty rusty PC. Thankfully.

The Droid isn't the only thing I'm battling. I've been a bit up and down with the season and such. I swear - I'm going to write some 'Blue' tomorrow. I've got the day off and the bills are sitting on the table. And 'Blue' definitely gets me procrastinating away from the bills. Bless its little heart.

I will have to do the  bills sometime tomorrow, but I will pretend I'll start first thing, then my heart will say, 'Blue' needs some work, and I'll gladly put the bills away and write the rest of Chapter Thirty-one? I think.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season - though we still have one more before the great winter chill - and then off to writing.

Got a big fun thing to look forward to. My one writing group is going to spend two full days together in a retreat-like setting - just to write. Should be great.

Life is a blessing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Oh! Oh! Had To Post This Link

Really fun lesson from Mark Twain on how to compile a critique group.

Will try to post later today, too!

'Cause life is fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wasn't Meant To Be

A hiatus, but it turned into one, didn't it?

The season is not the excuse. Been still battling health issues. But I think they might be on the mend. I pray they are. I went to a doctor of naturopathic medicine. She chided me for waiting so long to take care of myself. 

*g* How do I explain that I've got these insane characters who DEMAND time and energy and thought and my very life's breath????

Got on a truckload of vitamins and such. I've had two good days. Today is one of them. Two out of the last six months is a huge improvement. 

I feel like I can think about writing again. Before this, honestly, the brain wept. 

We need strength to write. We do. We need stamina and courage and all those other wondrous things and being sick or not taking care of ourselves is not the way to cultivate creativity.

Cultivate creativity. That's got a nice ring to it. Hoping we all spend the next few days, before the New Year, cultivating a little creativity so that we can ring in the New Year with a truckload of bells and enthusiasm and such!

Life is hope.

PS - A reader helped me get back on the straight and narrow by saying she missed reading this blog while at work. *blushes* Felt good. Bless all my readers - now and forever.

PSS - Maybe the hiatus gave some of you a chance to catch up. *Tag - you're it!* 

PSSS - Merry happy holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I've been thinking all day about incidentals. Characters, places, settings, things. Nothing I write should be inconsequential, not even the incidentals.

So I'm still researching the scenery for Chapter Thirty-two. It's going well. Getting very near the crisis so this part must be perfect. I think.

Of course, the Muse has introduced a new character, but if she keeps to just one, I should be ok. LOL. Of course she won't keep to one. Specifically, we've got Bryan returning. I haven't written of Bryan since the first chapter. There must be a wizard or two or three who are going to be fighting against Kathleen. Should be interesting.

But for now, I'm making sure the scenery is a character in and of itself.

Life is incidentally insane.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Hmm - quandary. Do I write it as magic or magik. It's little things like this that can drive me mad.
Met with my editor today for chapters sixteen and seventeen. She loved them. Made four comments. Easy fixes, too, thankfully. She said keep writing - she can't wait to read more. I told her I was finishing up with chapter thirty-one and she was delighted. Bless her heart!

As for magic - she said I've got to pump up the one section that had a bit of magic. As I've said before, I was told this is definitely a part of the book that is wanting. I vowed to go back and make changes once the book is complete, however, I think I best keep this is mind as I do the rewrites before sending Laurie my chapters. Sustain the magic.

I had to laugh tonight because I thought of a part of the third book. Honestly, I thought I was only going to write two, but Gozon has informed me that he will be needing help. Thus, a third book will be needed. Now, please keep this hushed, for I don't want to give away the fact that Gozon might still be around for the second and third book. *g*
As I've said before, characters can be quite pushy! I suggest imprisonment or a muzzle.

Life is fun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Own Web Page

I've been talking with folks lately and the consensus seems to be that - when you become a published author - it is best to have a web page.

Now - you all know I'm in love with my blog. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to write a bit down and keep track of my progress. Also, keep track of what's happening in the industry.

It's not enough. So I'm into investigating webpages. I've got a friend who is a webmaster. She's been getting more and more business as she creates more. That means I will be able to get a webpage up and running as Sharron Walsh within a very short time. Good news.

I hope to keep up with this blog at the same time. This is my history. 

Life is exciting.

PS - That's four things down now, for when I am published. A blog, a webpage, a system for tracking, and a trailer maker. (Yes, we spoke of trailers before. I'm going to be ready for one, once 'Blue' is complete. Oh, I'd love to have one for 'Sorrysorrysorry,' too. We'll see.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cupcake Wars

I watched an interview with Anne Burrell, author of 'Cook Like A Rock Star.' She had been a contestant on The Iron Chef and was sent packing. That's not what the book was about... but it's relevant to some more musings on life as an author.

Anne said she was heartbroken when she was voted off. Or whatever they do on that show. And it set me to thinking. (You might have noticed that lots of odd things set me to thinking.)

How come it is that a contestant on a cooking show like The Iron Chef or Cupcake Wars or whatever -- that deals in creativity along with talent and knowledge -- can feel heartbroken when she/he/they do not win?

And we as authors cannot? 

'They' tell us that we should send out our MS and then wipe the dust from our hands (like Macbeth's wife and the blood) and go on to our next piece of work.

Why can't we suffer for a bit? Why can't we feel sadness over a rejection?

Just a thought. I think I'll give myself permission, next time I get a rejection, to mourn for a little bit. Then, I'll go on to the next piece. 

Life is freedom.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I find it bizarre, as of late, folks’ use of the English language.

The television news report tonight stated: ‘The search winded down.’ Now – it’s supposed to be wound. The search wound down. You don’t say: ‘He finded the gun.’ You say: ‘He found the gun.’ Why would you think it’s ok to butcher the English language in this fashion?

In reading folks’ tales, I’ve found the same thing. Or finded, depending upon your perspective. I drived to the store. How on earth? It’s I drove to the store. I catched the ball. Instead of I caught the ball.

I see it everywhere and I’m beginning to get a little frightened. Intelligent people are using these incorrect words. I’ve seen it in books by famous authors. As I said, by newscasters. By politicians.

How on earth are our children ever going to survive a world so askew? I’m supposing it is only going to get worse (or worst) with the popularity of Twitter. And texting.

Now there’s a made-up word, texting, but it’s being incorporated into the dictionary because it is part of new technology.  (MS Word says it’s not spelt correctly here. Ah – that’s another one – spelt vs. spelled.)

But these found/finded, wound/winded, catched/caught words are not.

Just a small rant.

Life is peculiar.

PS - I am not busy ranting all the time. I did write 'Blue' today. Almost finished with Chapter Thirty-one! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Killing Characters

I've got a character that I like. To a degree. He's seemed a friend, but turns out to be an enemy. For some reason, I don't want to leave him like that. I think I've become fond of the lad. 

I've had to kill off characters in other stories and find it most distasteful. One time, I had to kill of a sweet wife and mother. It took me three days and I cried through it all. I've learned not to become as attached as that!

Yet characters can take over. I've had some baldly tell me, 'No,' when I've thought they should die or do something they don't like. Eventually, we come to some sort of agreement and the story moves forward.

Beware your characters, my Friends, They can be quite stubborn. And wilful.

Life is strange.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Giraffes Again

Sometimes, I know the Muse is in control. I was going to start sending out the giraffes story about a week ago, but was held back - by who knows what. Well, I presented it today, for the very first time, to my writers' group. One of the dear souls, the youngest one (I think she's 17) and writes so incredibly well, hoorayed when she read it. I got the nicest comments from her - BUT - she discovered what has been bothering me with the last chapter.... The hippos are in the wrong place! I feel so relieved. She hit the nail on the head, so to speak. So I'm changing it from hippos to the giraffes. The two species will meet and become friends, but it really is ALL ABOUT THE GIRAFFES. To have usurped them so. What was I thinking! *g*

Another thing that came to light, one that I had thought might be, is that the folks in my group only read the submitted MSs once. They ooh'd and aah'd over my critiques of the two presented today. I spent a lot of time on them. I always do.

And I do read them at least twice. Once, just to get the feel of the story and how it flows. The second time, to make suggestions. I don't like to mark up a page until I've read the whole thing. Questions can be answered later in the story. Puzzles can be presented early and figured out towards the end. All sorts of things happen, if you let the story progress, and then go back.They all thought reading twice might be a good idea. Go figure. Hopefully, the folk in the group will do that from now on.

A good day all around.

Life is fine.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeding Time

Spent most of the day reading others' works. One of my writers' groups meets tomorrow and there was a plethora of submissions. Long too.

I am amazed at the temerity of people. Sometimes I wish I had some. They submit long pieces, one was 32 mgs! AND with only five days to read. That along with others' submissions.

So I toiled away, as best I could. I know I'm getting better at this critiquing. Not doing editing anymore - you know the kind, grammar and punctuation and such. No - this is what I consider real editing. Making sure the characters' voices stay true, that the timeline is not flawed, that the events are plausible within the genre. 

I got to think about 'Blue' a few times and have reread what I wrote yesterday. But I also did a wee bit of fluff and posted that where friends can read it. That was fun. 

Reading away also as there is a contest going on that I usually vote in.

I think the best way to keep 'sane' is to write other things too, fun things, and to read more. That way, the Muse is fed, and then she feeds me! LOL

Life is hunger.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I'm pretty sure to you it doesn't seem like a long time since my last posting. But to me, it feels like forever. I'm so used to posting daily that more than one day away feels like a lifetime.

Pain is difficult to write through. Or even think, creatively. I suppose I should be like Hemingway - just drink through it. I love his one quote -- write drunk, edit sober. 

But pain or no -- the Muse is fed up with this lack of writing and has kicked me in the butt. I'm wondering though, if it's because I've used this pain-filled time in reading. Voraciously. I love to read. I had to give it up for awhile. I find I am not disciplined when it comes to reading. If the book is good, I can't put it down. Sometimes, even if it's mediocre, I can't put it down. That means no sleeping, no eating, no nothing. Difficult to function the next day!

The Muse sent some great thoughts and feelings to me as I sat in the car waiting for the little one to get out of school. Great stuff, IMHO. Enough to make me crave the paper and pen. Pulled it out and began writing and found I have stuff I have to go back and add. Such fun.

It feels good to be alive again. Even if the pain is close to mind-numbing.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Keeping The Faith

I've got a friend who writes with such power and imagination, it blows my mind. Yet, she has not finished one book.

I have another friend who writes characters that you just love to pieces and weep when they weep and laugh when they laugh. It takes her years to finish one story. Even with gentle prodding from more folk than just me.

I belong to a writers' group where not one of them has finished a book or a story. They keep plugging along, but never finish.

I was watching a program the other night (Stephen Sondheim on Stephen Colbert). Sondheim talks about how you get completely lost in your work, the world disappears, and you often sacrifice aspects of your life, and you forget everything except finishing your story. In his case, his lyrics. It's all about concentration. The art never ends.

We discussed this kind of writing at Saturday's meeting. Some thought it wasn't good to give so much. I disagree. If you've been given a gift, you should use it. I haven't written with deep passion in a long time. Not since the little one gave up her naps. Also, I've been battling an illness for the last two years. BUT - I promise myself --

I will write with passion again. I will write with concentration. I will keep the faith. 

Life is forging forward.